Elena Kochetkova, "The Green Power of Socialism: Wood, Forest, and the Making of Soviet Industrially Embedded Ecology" (MIT Press, 2024)

The MIT Press Podcast

05-06-2024 • 1 hora 5 min

In The Green Power of Socialism: Wood, Forest, and the Making of Soviet Industrially Embedded Ecology (MIT Press, 2024), Elena Kochetkova examines the relationship between nature and humans under state socialism by looking at the industrial role of Soviet forests. The book explores evolving Soviet policies of wood consumption, discussing how professionals working in the forestry industry of the Soviet state viewed the present and future of forests by considering them both a natural resource and a trove of industrial material. The book also discusses how post-Soviet industry has abandoned these socialist practices and the idea of nature as a complicated ecosystem that provides a crucial service to society. Within the context of the current environmental crisis, the book invites readers to reevaluate state socialism as a complex phenomenon with sophisticated interactions between nature and industry. In so doing, it contributes a fresh perspective on the activities of socialist experts and their view of nature, shedding light on Soviet state industrial and environmental policy and its continuing legacy in the present day. Elena Kochetkova is Associate Professor in Modern European Economic History at the Department of Archeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen. She served as a Secretary of the European Society of Environmental History from 2019 to 2021. Ailin Zhou is a PhD student in Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include transnational Chinese cinema, Asian diasporic visual culture, contemporary art, and feminist and queer theories.